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Misc. Updates

February 5, 2011

I am rather behind with my work and my posting but I am enjoying that WordPress is once again accessible in Mainland China (without a VPN)!

Anyway here are a few minor updates:

1. I am behind in my reading but I am progressing through a few secondary and primary sources. More posts soon, I swear!

2. I have updated the working bibliography page, which is also accessible through the main page on this blog. I have added some insightful (to some at least) links on the sidebar as well, including the new homepage for fashion historian (and icon) Valerie Steele. Check out a short video piece on Steele, who has written on Chinese fashion, fetish fashion, and goth fashion (amongst other things!), and the Museum at FIT that she runs here.

3. About two weeks ago I attended a Drag King Workshop here in Shanghai at the Rainbow Space. Since Drag Kings bind their breasts I figured it could be of interest to my research! I didn’t take any photos as I was trying to respect the privacy of the other people involved. Homosexuality, while not illegal in China, is not widely accepted and many gay pride events are shut down by the government so discretion is rather important. The workshop ended up focusing more on applying facial hair but I did see how Drag Kings bind their breasts. For drag binding, you need someone to help and two ace bandages. The first ace bandage is wrapped as tightly as you can take it around the breasts and the second ace bandage is also wrapped around the breasts but less tightly. It was pretty fascinating to see how average drugstore beauty products are used for drag and subverting gender norms. One of the leaders of the workshop told me that continual binding does not alter the shape of breasts. She did say that it does impede breathing a little though! Although women who do drag bind in a very different way (and not every day,) the workshop did offer an interesting take on breast binding!

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